That kind of integration from supplier to plant to customer has been going on for a few years now in automation and control. It drives the IT folks nuts, since the network now goes beyond the plant, bringing up security issues. When you bring in your suppliers, you have strangers on your network.
Good point, Rob. We tend to stay so focused on the engineering aspects and CAD interoperability has been a huge challenge for such a long time. But going a step beyond and integrating production and manufacturing is a big step in terms of tying the overall organization together around product development as well as a means of creating efficiencies, not to mention, closer ties to suppliers.
Using Elysium's technology, Renault Sport F1 has created a supplier portal that integrates with its ERP system and product data management system and allows suppliers using different CAD programs to exchange data and models quickly and accurately without manual translation or cleanup on Renault's end.
That's impressive on a number of levels. That's a bunch of integration and collaboration. I can see that CAD interoperability is a step forward here, but it looks like Renault has already taken big steps to integrate its suppliers.
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Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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